Three plead guilty to drug-related charges

An Elkhart man faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to the charge of dealing in cocaine.
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 13, 2013 at 6:58 p.m.

GOSHEN — Three Elkhart residents pleaded guilty to charges related to dealing in drugs Thursday morning, June 13, at the Elkhart Circuit Court.

Ÿ Rodrigo Ramirez Ortiz, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of dealing in cocaine, a Class A felony. He was arrested in June 2012 after the court issued a warrant for his arrest in May.

In his plea, Ramirez Ortiz agreed to a sentence of no more then 30 years in prison.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in his case, Ramirez Ortiz sold about 14.8 grams of cocaine on Nov. 28, 2011, and then about 29.2 grams on Dec. 6, 2011, to an undercover officer.

Ramirez Ortiz was charged with two counts of dealing in cocaine, but one count was dismissed as part of the agreement.

Another man involved in the case, Jesus Ramirez Garcia, has been charged with seven counts of dealing in cocaine. The court issued a warrant for his arrest in May 2012, but Ramirez Garcia has not been arrested.

Ÿ Dontavius Ware, 22, pleaded guilty to dealing in cocaine and aggravated battery. He agreed to a sentence of 40 years in prison and five years on probation.

According to court files, Ware was arrested May 11, 2012, when he was found with crack cocaine in his possession during a search warrant in a separate case. He was later charged with aggravated battery for attacking an inmate at the jail on May 25, 2012. The inmate was taken to the hospital to be treated for fractures around his left eye and multiple bruises to his head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

Erick Franklin, another man in involved in the inmate’s attack, was also charged with aggravated battery. Franklin’s trial date has been scheduled for Sept. 9.

Ÿ Nichole Papet, 27, pleaded guilty to dealing in methamphetamine, a class B felony.

In the agreement, Papet pleaded guilty to the charge as a lesser-included offense instead of the initial charge of dealing in meth within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, a Class A felony.

Papet agreed to a sentence of 10 years in prison and four years on probation. Other terms of the sentence will be left to be under the court’s discretion.

Papet was arrested Jan. 12 after police searched a room she was staying in at Residential Inn in Elkhart. During the search, police found one-pot reaction vessels and chemicals that are commonly used to manufacture meth. Heather Poe, 25, was also arrested during the search.

Poe pleaded guilty to dealing in meth as a lesser-included offense June 6 at Circuit Court. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 3.

All three residents will appear for their sentencing hearings at 8:30 a.m. July 18.

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